Mapping the Neoliberal Empire


Writing of the early movements of the neoliberal thought collective, Steven Craig Hickman tells us that

they realized if neoliberalism was to ever have an impact beyond the intellectual sphere they’d need plenty of funding so several special-purpose foundations for the education and promotion of neoliberal doctrines were created; in its early days, these included entities such as the Volker Fund, the Earhart Foundation, the Relm Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and the Foundation for Economic Education. (Mirowski, 906-908) They also realized they’d need institutional support so several “think tanks” were created: Institute for Economic Affairs, American Enterprise Institute, Schweizerisches Institut für Auslandforschung [Swiss Institute of International Studies], the Hoover Institution at Stanford) and satellite organizations such as the Federalist Society that sheltered neoliberals, who themselves might or might not also be members in good standing of various academic disciplines and universities.(Mirowski, 912-915) And, finally, for their globalist agenda they created the Atlas Economic Research Foundation which was founded in 1981 by Antony Fisher to assist other MPS-related groups in establishing neoliberal think tanks in their own geographic locations.

Today, the network of organizations affiliated with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation has blossomed to some 400 members, spanning every region and continent on the planet. They consist of think-tanks and advocacy groups, maintain affiliations with universities, command political clout and work closely with media systems. They include publishing houses and release periodicals and journals while holding conferences, seminars, and consortiums. They work with philanthropic foundations, where their members can frequently be found on the various director boards of these foundations. Their own memberships frequently intertwine, and they partner with one another in the promotion of common goals. It is “probably the greatest and most audacious social reengineering project since Akhentaon the Pharaoh tried to reengineer Egyptian Society,” as Hickman points out.

Using GoogleMap’s customs functions, I’ve began to log the locations of the 400 nodes in this network. Its a work in progress – the locations are not completely specific (though their territorial proximity is close), and I hope to add a little info on each organization as time goes on. Plus, I have some 270 organizations to still enter in! But in the meantime, it already begins to provide an excellent image of the scope and size of the neoliberal Empire’s intellectual machine.

Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Global Network

While going through the list, I noted that a handful of the Atlas organizations receive funding from the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the four subsidiary organizations of the National Endowment for Democracy (an organization that has been mentioned multiple times in the various threads at this blog) and affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce. What this tells us is, in fact, that some Atlas members are receiving US taxpayer money to propagate this ideology- and points to the deeper relationship between the foreign policy of “democracy promotion” and neoliberalism that is too frequently downplayed by the apologists and the high priests of the Washington Consensus.

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5 Responses to Mapping the Neoliberal Empire

  1. edmundberger says:

    And in between the two we find so many of the same coffers, with money flowing to each: the Coors fortune, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife’s cash, the Olin Foundation, etc. etc. etc.. Oh the ties that bind!

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